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Thursday, February 02, 2006Last week, a made a post or two about private milk sharing and the black market for breastmilk. In those posts, I talked about how I could understand a mother's desire to give her child breastmilk, but that I just couldn't see the safety in getting it anywhere but from one of the HMBANA milk banks. Since then, I've had a chance to do a bit more digging and I'm starting to change my mind somewhat...
While I am still appalled at the idea of selling breast milk...mostly because it just reeks of profit from other's grief and has the potential to be so risky...I'm starting to warm up to the idea of private milk donation. The first thing I saw that challenged my point of view was the Feed My Baby site that was put up by Jennifer Connel, the woman that couldn't breastfeed her children because she'd had a double mastectomy. Connel set up a network of donor moms across the United States, paid for all of the necessary testing, the shipping and bought a home pasteurizer to process the milk once she received it. Basically, she set up her own mini-version of a milk bank.
There's a big difference between that and simply having strangers ship you their breast milk.
Today, I had an email from Kelly Faulkner, who runs MilkShare.com, a site dedicated to helping families learn how to safely set up their own private human milk donor network. There's some great information on the site, including the obvious suggestion that you need to find a Ped that's willing to work with you on this and help you figure out the screening requirements for your donors.
Breast milk is one of those things that is supply and demand...many moms can create quite a bit of extra...wouldn't it be great to see this type of thing grow to where anyone that needed breastmilk could get it?
Labels: Milk Banking and Sharing